Today was the day to leave to go back to our little slice of heaven in San Francisco. It was raining, which made leaving a lot easier.
The plan was to take a cab to Paddington Station to take the Heathrow Express, but the cab driver offered us a deal of 40£ to go straight to the airport. The cab to Paddington would have been half that, so it was a great deal, so we grabbed it. That also meant one stop and not having to drag bags anywhere was a treat. The driver was a large Scottish guy … very pleasant, but difficult to understand. We tipped him well for that one.
We checked in and made our way to the Virgin Atlantic airport club. OMG, it’s huge. There were at least 12 different areas to hang out, each one with a different character. One had a huge TV, several were very private with glass walls and doors. Several were opened – some set-up for food service, some for computer work, several for lounging. There was a deli and a full service restaurant – all for free. There was also a large spa with sauna, steam, pool, showers and more. I had a facial, Seb had a haircut. We could have had a massage, manicure or peticure, but we’d had enough.
We relaxed and enjoyed breakfast and some Champagne and worked on email, photos and blogs.
We left to board the plane and just as we were starting to board, they were asking people to get out of the plane. Apparently the pilot wasn’t happy with the vendor that did the security check on the plane and wanted it done again. A friend sent a note that there had been some Al Qaeda threats for London airports.
We got to go back to the club instead if sitting in the waiting area. We waited in comfort for a while and then boarded the plane.
The first class part of the plane was the same as on the way over. Everyone has their own little pod, each with TV and the little foot stool/guest seat. We got more “sleep suits”/pajamas, which we love and used on our trip, so getting another pair was an added bonus.
Naturally, we were treated very well with plenty of good food, drinks and snacks. We had a very tasty lunch, complete with white table cloth and napkins, all served on china, nice glassware and stainless utensils. After lunch we had our seats made into beds, complete with cloth padding and a duvet. I watched 2 movies and fell asleep for a few hours. After waking up, we had afternoon tea – little sandwiches, little burgers and little cupcakes. Everything was tasty and made the whole trip pass by faster.
Interesting note: There were some people on the flight that were also on our flight over. I can’t believe the odds of that happening. We’d talked about how they were so young and had 3 kids. Add that up and it’s not a cheap trip. Maybe they used points, like us?
Going though security and customs was a breeze … the easiest I’ve ever encountered. We were nearly first in line and had no inspections and sailed though.
We got in a cab and had the fastest cab ride between the airport and our home that I’ve ever experienced. I’m not sure why the cab driver was in such a big hurry, but I didn’t complain. Getting home fast was great.
Now it’s time for laundry, blogging, managing photos and relaxing.
All-in-all, it was a great trip. We had so many strokes of luck I can’t believe it – weather, flights, deals, and generally everything falling into place.